How To Make Wild Rose Water & Face Toner at Home
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This is a fairly quick and easy recipe to harvest that amazing wild rose scent growing on your land, or by the side of a country lane (the less traffic, the better for purity), or while hiking in the mountains in Canada and the northern US.

My daughter Zara and I were coming back from brunch, just wonder-struck by the abundance of wild rose bushes in bloom all over the 160 acre Singing Horse Ranch. So we spontaneously decided to gather petals to make wild rose water, even though it was raining. It took two of us only 15 minutes to collect enough rose petals to make almost 2 quarts of rose water.

Of course, you can use this same recipe to make rose water from any roses growing in your garden. I do not recommend buying roses (unless from a local farm you know does not use chemicals) as all commercial roses are saturated with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, preservatives and sometimes artificial colorants. You do not want to distill all these toxins down into a concentrated form that you then spray on your face and inhale!

Okay, let’s get started.

When you approach a wild rose bush, pause, close your eyes and take a deep breath, sink your energy/breath into the ground. When you open your eyes, tell rose and the bees what you intend to do (say this out loud or in your head).

Gathering wild rose petals in the rain with biodegradable doggy-do bags cause that’s all we had with us!

Then from each bush, gather the wild rose petals that you feel good about taking. Notice what stage of growth the bush is at – being mindful that the blooms are crucial for bees and other insects.

If there are lots of new buds coming, you might feel good about taking more petals, because you know that there will soon be more. Or you may prefer to take a set portion that feels fair/good to you for a balanced ecosystem – maybe 1/4 of the blooms, for example.

My daughter Zara and I gathered 4.5 cups of wild rose petals and it made 6 cups of rose water.

She couldn’t resist this bush, but I’d had enough of the rain by this point!

Photo taken through the truck window – as I was now done with the rain!

How To Make Wild Rose Water

1. Sort wild rose petals to remove any leaves, stamens, debris, then rinse with cold water in a sieve to remove any dirt, bugs etc.

2. Put the wild rose petals into a large pot and add enough distilled water to just cover the petals. Stir to saturate petals so they’re not just sitting on top of the water. Don’t add extra water or you’ll dilute your rosewater.

3. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-low heat. Do not remove the lid, shake the pot to ‘stir’ the petals. You want all steam to remain trapped in the pot (steam distillation) to retain the wonderful rose scent.

4. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes or until petals have lost their color and are a pale grey color.

5. Place 3-4 layers of cheesecloth in a sieve and strain mixture into a large bowl to separate the petals from the water. You may need to stop a few times and scoop out the petals so the liquid can flow into the bowl easily.

Notice how I’ve braced the handle of the sieve on the dish rack so it stays even while I pour

This is why you need 4 layers of cheesecloth – see all the tiny bugs?

6. Discard petals and pour your finished wild rose water into a clean glass jar(s). Allow mixture to cool with lid placed lightly on top (keep the steam in but don’t seal). Once jars have cooled a bit, seal tightly with lid and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Rose water jars on the counter

Color of wild rose water when held up to the light

*Wild rose water should be good for 6 months if you used a sterilized glass jar and keep it in the fridge.

Wild Rose Water Toner or Face Spritz

  • Fill your clean spray bottle with wild rose water (add 3 drops of rose essential oil if you want more scent, and shake well before each use).
  • If you want a more astringent toner, then instead of using just rose water, use 1 part witch hazel to 2 parts rosewater.
  • To use: spray mist directly on face (and chest), enjoy the beautiful fragrance and let air dry.
  • Or spray onto a cotton pad and use as a facial toner to wipe face and remove any residue.

It’s much easier and faster to make a flower water, rather than an essential oil. It’s also almost impossible to muck it up, so don’t be afraid to just jump in when you get the urge.

If you feel drawn to create flower essences (very different from flower water but also very easy to make) then I also have detailed instructions on how to make your own flower essences.

Keep in mind, that you can also add flower essences to your flower water to carry the vibrational medicine of the flower, as well as the beautiful scent. It’s all good!

Spiritual Meaning of Wild Rose

While roses traditionally symbolize love and adoration, wild roses have a more complex meaning to First Nations people:

Paiute, Nez Perce, and Interior Salish people believed that wild roses kept ghosts from causing harm. In some tribes, rose motifs were used in quillwork, beadwork, or other Native arts to represent survival and vitality – and the actual roses were attached to infant cradleboards. – Orrin Lewis

I certainly feel revitalized when I bury my nose in a wild rose, or see their beauty spread across the fields. And if the land must have thorny bushes all over it, thank god they’re roses!

When I inhale this particularly gorgeous scent, I also feel hopeful and safe; like a promise that this challenging world has pockets of rest, ease and grace. Which makes me feel so thankful. It’s a big exhale.

Unlike cultivated roses, wild roses then become rose hips which are ripe in August/September. You can make rose hips into a tea, eat them fresh (spit out the seeds), or turn them into jelly or syrup. What an amazing plant!

As Elise Krohn says:

“I love how the spiritual uses of rose mirror the physical uses. Where rose removes unwanted energy and helps to bring strength and protection to the spiritual body, it also does this physically. Rose is an excellent simple astringent along with most members of the rose family. What this means is that it tightens and tonifies inflamed tissue, both topically and internally where the medicine makes contact.”

Be sure and check out Elise’s wonderful paper on wild roses, rosehips and her recipes for rose oil, cream, jam, relish and more. Talk about gifts from the earth – enjoy!

3 Comments

  1. Anita Patel June 11, 2024 at 9:19 am - Reply

    What a delectable post for the senses! Love the pics. Thanks.

    • JINI June 12, 2024 at 12:21 am - Reply

      The entire ranch is covered with them – such beauty! And as you drive down the driveway, you can smell them – so lovely!! Feeling very blessed indeed. Can’t wait until all the saskatoon berries ripen… :)

  2. Heather June 19, 2024 at 1:03 pm - Reply

    Such a lovely post. Thanks Jini! Here in PEI they grow in abundance and I have a luxurious amount on my acreage. I’ll try this, for sure. Feeling blessed as well.

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JINI PATEL THOMPSON

I am. an international bestselling author, health product formulator, horse listener, earth singer, mother, entrepreneur, medicine woman, fungi friend, elephant acolyte and regenerative farmer.

I value friendships, loyalty, community, compassion, authenticity, health, vibrancy, strength, courage and truth-telling. More…

         

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